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CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
5203 Westlawn
(319) 335-9647
e-mail: debra-venzke@uiowa.edu

Release: Aug. 31, 2001

EDITORS: A photo of Shannon P. Márquez is available. To obtain a copy, contact Debra Venzke at (319) 335-9647.

Márquez appointed UI College of Public Health assistant dean for diversity

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Shannon P. Márquez, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational and environmental health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, has been named assistant dean for diversity. In this role, Márquez will lead the college in developing new programs to attract and retain a more diverse student body and faculty. She will also represent the college on university committees dealing with diversity issues.

"The appointment of Dr. Márquez to this unique post reflects the College of Public Health's strong commitment to enhancing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff," said James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H, dean of the College of Public Health. "Dr. Márquez will provide valuable leadership to this college, and she will partner with others at the university who are working to promote diversity across campus. In addition, she will interact with the public health community on behalf of the college to support diversity."

Márquez also will address issues such as diversity and health disparities.

"Since it is well known that many health problems fall heavily on minority, immigrant and other vulnerable populations, we all must work together to create a community that is not just welcoming and accepting of diversity, but is also conducive to implementing these values in ways that enhance public health in the most vulnerable segments of our population," Márquez said. "A guiding principle to help us meet these challenges is the realization that a commitment to diversity is also a commitment to intellectual vitality."

Márquez received her Ph.D. in environmental sciences and engineering from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. She joined the College of Public Health faculty in 1999 and is the director of the Community Outreach and Education Core of the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center and deputy director of African Programs for the Center for International Rural and Environmental Health (CIREH). Márquez also has a secondary faculty appointment in the UI College of Engineering.

This summer, Márquez served as the program director and instructor for the study abroad course titled "Public Health and Environment: The Gambia." In collaboration with The Gambia College-School of Public Health, the six-week program provides students interested in public and environmental health sciences with an opportunity to travel to West Africa and engage in health-related, field-based studies. The course is jointly sponsored by CIREH and the UI Office for Study Abroad.

Along with her administrative and outreach work, Márquez will continue her research and teaching responsibilities in the areas of risk assessment and communication of water contaminants, vector control and environmental interventions for water-related illnesses, and public health engineering and international health.